Prepare Your Home for Winter’s Wrath

By Keith Loria

With winter right around the corner, now’s the time to make sure your house is in tip top shape so that it can withstand the cold temperatures that are likely on their way. If your home is on the market, it’s even more important to take the time to clean up and even repair any minor damage that your property may have suffered throughout the summer and fall.

If a powerful storm came through your area during the last several months, it’s a smart idea to check your roof for any damage and ensure there are no missing shingles or cracks around any skylights. It’s also a good idea to head into the attic and look up to see if there is any discoloration of the decking or plywood surface. If any of these conditions are present, it could mean a problem with the roof itself.

You should also check to see if there is any light penetrating in from around plumbing vents or the chimney, as this means the roof’s flashing needs to be replaced. If the problem is caught right away, fixing it shouldn’t be too costly. However, if you let the problem go, it could create a potential disaster.

The next step should be checking and cleaning the gutters. Clogged gutters and downspouts can keep water from being carried away from your roof and can cause leaks and other damage to the home.

Possible gutter damage includes holes, cracks or sags, all of which can be easily fixed.

According to Lowe’s home improvement guide, if you notice a pinhole when inspecting the gutters, use an abrasive pad to clean the area. Then, cut a piece of gutter material that is one-inch larger than the hole on all sides. Using a stiff brush, spread a bit of gutter repair compound on the area around the hole and place your patch over the top. Cover the patch with another layer of compound to ensure a good seal.

To repair minor sags, simply add a new hanging bracket to the sagging area or replace an existing one if it’s old or damaged. Then, screw in the bracket until the gutter is back in proper alignment. Be sure to use hanging brackets that are designed for your type of gutter system.

Next, check your property for trees that may have been damaged in a heavy storm. Branches often die out or get dislodged and fall—but get stuck in the tree—and these can be dangerous when snow comes and forces them down. Have any dead branches cut down and make sure the tree is healthy and continues to grow.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your fencing is secure, your deck hasn’t lost any bolts and no windows around the house have been cracked.

Sometimes storm damage is unavoidable. But making quick repairs can help ensure your home is safe, sound and dry before the next storm arrives.

For more tips on preparing your home for winter, contact our office today.

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